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Public Statements

Supreme Court Health Care Decision

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. GRAVES of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, I rise today with a group of colleagues of mine to speak in contrast to what we just heard. It is shocking to me, not only the news of today and the continuation of the overreach of the Federal Government, but to hear colleagues on the other side of the aisle who are advocating for the Progressive Caucus, the progressive movement in this Nation celebrating, truly celebrating the Supreme Court ruling of today which allows the Federal Government to continue reaching into the homes of American families all across this country in a way that has never been done before, and granted so much more taxing power that has never been granted before, and yet they celebrate.

And they used a lot of different terms, like ``charting the new course.'' That was a phrase that was used by the Progressive Caucus here just a moment ago--charting the new course. One has to wonder: What is this new course? It has been a course that the progressive movement has been on now for nearly a century; and today they are celebrating that course continuing to be charted, and that is a course of more government and less liberty. And that is what this decision was all about today. It was about empowering government and not empowering the American people. It is about creating more government and less liberty. That's what the decision reflected today.

I am joined today by many good friends here in the House of Representatives who are on the side of liberty. They're on the side of the American taxpayers, and they're on the side of the private sector. They believe in free markets and capitalism and profits and success and dreaming, and they don't think that the Federal Government has to get in the way of any of that.

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Mr. GRAVES of Georgia. I thank the gentleman from New Jersey for your inspirational remarks reflecting back on the history of this country and the great leaders and the Founders and the principles which this Nation was based upon. While the erosion continues--and we've seen more of it even today with the ruling--the resolve is even stronger.

So to those that may be listening or watching, you can know that there is a group of Members in the House of Representatives that are not going to let up, that are going to be fully resolved to repealing ObamaCare in its entirety, pulling it out, each and every root of this legislation, and empowering the people and not empowering government. Because, why? Because this is not a government of the Court, by the Court, or for the Court. This is a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, and I am convinced that the people will have their voice heard in the next few months.

So as we heard from the progressives earlier in their continued march down this new chartered course of more government and less liberty, we are thankfully joined tonight by a great friend of liberty and a great advocate of liberty, and that is Louis Gohmert from Texas.

I'd like to yield to the gentleman from Texas.

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Mr. GRAVES of Georgia. I thank the gentleman from Kansas for your words.

Regarding unintended consequences, I can tell you there are going to be an amazing amount of unintended consequences with the Affordable Care Act, which I'm not sure that we can call it that anymore. I think it's more like the Limited Care Act. It's the Very Expensive Care Act.

For the Progressives that were here earlier--and I know many folks listened to them--they were celebrating. They were excited. They were happy, gleeful; whereas, we're lamenting but resolved to do away with this once and for all.

Why would they be gleeful? Because it's their movement. That's what they've been trying to do now for almost 100 years, and that is increase the size of government, get it into the lives of the American people, dictate their behavior, and limit freedom.

I read recently that part of their agenda is to divorce the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. But to use one and to prop up on that one so they can almost sort of claim that they are for the founding of this Nation--and we heard earlier when they used the Declaration of Independence: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. They were celebrating that this was the right bill to be in law because of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. If you can claim that with this legislation, there are no bounds in which you can go with this Federal Government, there are no limits.

As the gentleman from Kansas just raised, this is clearly not about health care. This is about freedom, and this is about liberty and preserving it for future generations.

I would like to yield to the gentleman from Louisiana (Mr. Landry).

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Mr. GRAVES of Georgia. I thank the gentleman from Louisiana.

You brought up one major component of all this legislation. I remember in one of the State of the Unions, the President said, We need tax reform. Tax reform.

I think he got tax reform in this law. What did you say? Twenty-one new taxes are being implemented because of ObamaCare? There are 21 new taxes, and yet the Progressives earlier said, No, this is great for America. Free health care. Affordable health care. No one has to pay. They'll actually get credits back.

Somebody's got to pay. That's the way this place works. Whenever they're promising you something, they're taking from someone else. And you just laid out 21 different areas that impact every American that the President promised he wouldn't raise taxes on. So I appreciate you doing that.

And next, the other component of it is, what's left? What really was in this health care law, this Big Government expansion, this overreach into the homes of American families? A tremendous amount is left.

I know Dr. Price from Georgia has been leading the fight not only against this measure, but for positive patient-centered and patient-driven measures as well. And I want to thank you for joining us and sharing with us.

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Mr. GRAVES of Georgia. I thank the gentleman from Georgia.

Not only are you a physician--you are not here speaking on behalf of physicians. You are here speaking on behalf of patients all across this country and defending them. And I appreciate the great fight that you are putting on and the resolve that you have for each of us, as you are leading us here as Republicans here in the House.

As we go into the last 5 minutes here with the gentleman from Utah (Mr. Bishop), he brought up the government right now taxes us on what we do or consume, but this is a first in which the government can now tax you on what you don't do. That's an amazing concept. I hadn't really thought of it that way until Mr. Price brought it up.

So now the Federal Government has moved into a realm which has never been here before, saying, Hey, because you're not doing something, I'm going to tax you. So I'm going to determine what it is that you should be doing that you are not doing so, therefore, I can collect a little revenue. And here we are today with something such as this.

As we are just wrapping up this spirited discussion here, earlier, Mr. Bishop, you heard the Progressives celebrating this decision today.

What were they celebrating? The Federal Government can tax you if you do something. But today's celebration was the fact that the Federal Government can tax you when you don't do something.

I appreciate you joining us tonight and giving your thoughts from the great State of Utah.

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Mr. GRAVES of Georgia. Thank you for your comments tonight and your great insight and reflecting back on early documents and early words that have been shared.

Mr. Speaker, as we conclude tonight, I want the American people to know that we are resolved to restore the liberty that was lost today through the full repeal of ObamaCare. That will be our focus as Republicans in the House.

I yield back the balance of my time.

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